Somalia: Violence Puts Some 2 Million People At Risk, Says UN

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that there are up to 2 million vulnerable people in need of humanitarian aid in war-wracked Somalia, which has not had a functioning government since 1991 and where fighting has intensified in recent months.

In the capital Mogadishu, the number of people escaping the city to the poorest areas of the Horn of Africa nation has doubled to 700,000 in the last six months.

At the same time, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York the "constrained movement of aid workers" is causing concern.

The transport and delivery of crucial items such as food is being impeded by roadblocks, taxes and banditry, which are also responsible for a surge in numbers of people needing assistance.

In late January, three staff members of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-Holland were killed in the southern port city of Kismayo when their car was hit by a roadside bomb outside the town of Kismayo. A Somali journalist, Hassan Kafi Hared, as well as a Somali boy, were also reportedly killed in the blast.

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